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Date:	Thu, 13 Sep 2007 10:39:57 +0200
From:	Stephen Hemminger <>
To:	Rick Jones <>
Cc:	David Miller <>,
	Rick Jones <>,
Subject: Re: [PATCH] [RFC] allow admin/users to specify rto_min in
 milliseconds rather than jiffies

On Wed, 12 Sep 2007 13:28:42 -0700
Rick Jones <> wrote:

> >> The api in netlink should be in milliseconds rather than compensating
> >> in the application (iproute2).
> > 
> > 
> > My understanding of the in-kernel rtnetlink code is far from complete, 
> > but it doesn't seem to have much in the way of provisions for unit 
> > conversion, which would suggest no nice suffix-based ui as in tc, and ip 
> > is already doing some massaging of units on the display side for a 
> > couple of the other parameters, so I'm at something of a loss.
> So, I used the source and looked and saw that tc seems to convert 
> everything to nanoseconds and passes that to the kernel.  The user can 
> give it seconds, milliseconds, microseconds or nanoseconds by using a 
> suffix. It then does something ostensibly intelligent to display those 
> to the user.
> Ip converts nothing when passing things to the kernel (rtt rttvar or rto 
> - when/if at least the intial rto changes are included - were they?), 
> but when they come-out of the kernel ip converts them to milliseconds. 
>   So the units in != the units out.
> Tc seems much more friendly and less prone to user error.
> I'm still not sure how "easily" rtnetlink can do conversions itself - 
> feedback there would be _very_ welcome - but at the very least, having 
> ip provide at least the illusion of what tc does would seem to be a good 
> thing.
> rick jones

Your observations are correct. rtnetlink can't/shouldn't be doing conversions
itself.  The 'ip' command should use a consistent unit for all values and
do conversions if necessary.
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